Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Religious Studies (MARS)


Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies

First Advisor

Christel Manning, Ph.D.


As we approach the close of the first decade of this new millennium, some two-thousand plus years after the birth of Christ, we find the religious tendencies of our world changing once again. Many studies have been undertaken to assess the religious mindset of the American population, breaking it down into a variety of demographics and nuances. What has become apparent is that the institutional religions, and in this case, the Catholic Church, is losing their hold on their constituents. The result is not that people are flocking to alternative institutional religions, but to a more nebulous brand of faith that is being called, Spiritual, not religious. What I will explore in this thesis is how this movement has been spurred not only by changes in society, but by the failures of the religions, especially the Catholic Church, to react to these societal changes and actively pursue the undertaking of educating their faithful in the authentic tenets of the faith. What I will propose is that the Church begins to make it their priority to urge its members to a conversion of heart and mind through a discipline of study, prayer and action, by putting the concept of continued conversion of its members at the forefront of all it does. Only by this conversion can the Church reclaim its primacy in the lives of its faithful.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.


Master's thesis submitted to the faculty of the Theology and Religious Studies Department of Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, Connecticut, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master in Arts of Religious Studies.



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